I took my first pottery class as a senior in high school. In college, I studied (again as a senior) with Laura Andresen, who had established the teaching of ceramics at UCLA. In the summers of 1998 and 1999, I took classes from Leigh Sweetman-Ivie at Northland Pioneer College in Showlow, Arizona. During the summer of 2002, I studied sculpture with Randall White, also at Northland Pioneer College. I have also taken classes from Bill van Gilder, a production potter, Eric Hendrick, and Joan Ulrich at the Art League School of Alexandria, Virginia. With so much instruction from outstanding potters, I should be much better than I am.

I make a variety of ceramics ranging from bowls and jars to animal figurines and abstracts-sometimes whimsical-sculptures. I believe that all of my pottery is "functional" in the broadest sense because it serves utilitarian and/or aesthetic ends. A sculpture that gives pleasure to someone who views and handles it has a function no less tangible and meaningful than a flowerpot.

My work, realized mainly in cones 5-8 porcelain and stoneware, has many sources of inspiration. Because I am an anthropologist who studies technology (ancient and modern), I have viewed countless objects made of wood, metal, glass, stone, and clay. The influence of these many archaeological, ethnographic, and modern objects on my designs is sometimes overt, but more often it is muted.

The few words that best describe my style are control, simplicity, emphasis on form and texture, and whimsy. Above all, my work allows me, as an anthropologist, to celebrate how people from disparate times and cultures have transformed everyday materials into functional yet sensual objects. I hope gradually to understand the transcendent design principles that give many objects, especially traditional ones, a timelessness.

I emphasize that my pieces lack intellectual and political meanings. Rather than interpreting my designs, people should merely ponder their allusions--intended and unintended--to other traditional and modern forms. Above all, I hope that those who view and touch my creations will experience a moment of pleasure and mirth.

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